One aspect of the By-Law outlining the duties of the Committee on Publication (see Mary Baker Eddy, Church Manual, Art. XXXIII, Sect. 2) relates to correcting “injustices done Mrs. Eddy.” As a spiritual pioneer and Christian reformer, Mary Baker Eddy faced waves of persecution, criticism, and trial. More than a century after her passing in 1910, we find that her character and motives, while sometimes accurately conveyed, are too often distorted in various media. The truth and teachings of Christ Jesus that she lived and articulated, “laid the axe of Science at the root of material knowledge,” as she put it in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 27). It’s not surprising that this shaking of the foundations of the belief of life in matter often leads to objections and stirring in public thought.
Mrs. Eddy counseled, “Follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ” (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 34). That standard of following Christ was certainly upheld through her spiritual poise, meekness, and deeply Christian way of responding to persecution. This example of Christian living continues to be immensely instructive to all who would seek to counter injustices done to her and the church she founded. And this is the way in which Committees on Publication strive to fulfill their duty under the Church Manual. What follows are two examples of this work.
The first came about through an opportunity to shed light on her life and work. An Assistant Committee on Publication (ACOM) in Southern California is a member of the National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA), through which she learned of an opportunity for an article on Mrs. Eddy to be included in the NWHA’s annual magazine. In light of their 2022 theme, “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” the editor remarked that an article on Mary Baker Eddy would be an “excellent addition.” The Committee on Publication for Southern California, with helpful input from the ACOM, prayerfully considered how to best communicate Mrs. Eddy’s life in a manner that would not only lift common misconceptions but also be most meaningful for this audience—sharing Mrs. Eddy’s unique contributions to health, healing, and hope. The article is below and is reprinted with permission from nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/.